Are your e-mails making people angry?

I’ve only been back from vacation for one day and already I’ve weeded through at least a dozen e-mails that have irked me. It’s not so much the content of those e-mails, it’s that some people just continue to do these three things that are on my strict “do not do this” list:

  1. Do not attach files that are 20MB in size
    You’re killing my e-mail and our company’s server when you send attachments that are this big. This is especially true for unsolicited e-mails. If you are trying to send me your media kit, I haven’t asked for it, I’m not expecting it, and it’s humongous, I’m probably just going to delete the e-mail so that I can free up some space for other incoming messages.
    TRY THIS INSTEAD: Save whatever you are sending as an Acrobat PDF and/or remember to do a “Save As” selecting “Reduced File Size PDF” for anything over 4 or 5MB. You can also compress multiple attachments into one folder using WinZip, or use the Outlook tools to send reduced file size attachments (here’s how).
  2. Do not send out mass e-mails to multiple recipients trying to set up a meeting
    Whenever I get an e-mail asking me “What time are you available for a meeting next week?” I cringe at the thought of responding. That’s because by the time the 20 other people “reply all” and you compile all of those responses, next week has already come and gone.
    TRY THIS INSTEAD: Use a Doodle! is great for scheduling meetings with multiple participants, and it’s free. You simply input a variety of times for your guests to choose from, send out a URL to your custom Doodle scheduler, and track the responses. home page
  3. Do not use a colored e-mail background, colored type, fancy fonts, or inspirational quotes
    Every time I get an e-mail with a colored background, I think to myself, “Is this coming from a 12-year old girl?” When you send e-mails with a colored or patterned background, curly-q typefaces, colored fonts, or inspirational quotes at the bottom, it’s hard for me to consider it a professional communication. It’s also hard for me to read. Your words might be important, but they are lost in translation. All I see is this:
    Example of a terrible e-mail style
    TRY THIS INSTEAD: Create a professional signature line in Outlook (or your e-mail program) that includes your name, title, company, phone number, e-mail, website, and social media sites (for your company, not your personal social media sites) and use that on every company e-mail, internal and external. Add in your company logo too if you want to get super fancy. Also, set your default setting to a simple background (white is just fine) and a standard font like Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman. Lay off the Lucida Casual and Script typefaces please.